Italian police shut down a club that established a "fascist beach" near Venice sporting various totalitarian-themed elements, such as portraits of Mussolini, "anti-democracy" slogans, and a charmingly humorous warning not to go in the gas chambers. Conservatives, outraged at the lack of free speech, have called for the beach to be reopened and for democracy to be destroyed.
The Mussolini theme was clear from the entrance to the privately run Punta Canna resort, where the sign read "Rules: Order, cleanliness and discipline."
As well as fascist slogans, the beach at Chioggia, a short distance south of Venice, broadcast regular messages over speakers from its manager, Gianni Scarpa, a 64 year-old clad in a black bandana.
Before police raided the beach he told La Repubblica newspaper (in Italian) that he was "delighted to have an exemplary clientele", and that he hated filthy people and democracy.
I'm certain "fascist beach" was the setting of at least a dozen Benny Hill skits.
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